Chatter In The Wings


Arthur Miller’s next play, “The Ride Down Mount Morgan,” Michael Blakemore directing, may preem in London this year for producer Robert Fox. The trio has been huddling here.

A recent Hampstead Theater revival of Joe Orton’s “What The Butler Saw” transfers Jan. 22 to Wyndham’s Theater in the West End. It’s staged by John Tillinger, and the cast includes Clive Francis and Sheila Gish.

David Suchet stars in and Trevor Nunn directs Shakespeare’s “Timon Of Athens,” which is due Feb. 28 for a limited run at the Young Vic.

Display ads for the new Stephen Schwartz biblical tuner “Children Of Eden” describe the book’s author, John Caird, as the director of “Les Miserables.” A half-truth, since “Miz” was co-staged by Trevor Nunn.

New England

With Pip Miller, Emma Piper and Jane Snowden heading the cast, the international touring edition of the Royal Shakespeare Co.’s “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” will play its only U.S. engagement Jan. 29 to Feb. 3 at the Palace Theater in Stamford, Conn. The production, directed David Leveaux, began touring last July and will conclude with three weeks at Toronto’s Elgin Theater, Feb. 12 to March 3. Tour is being presented by the American husband-and-wife producing team of Frank and Woji Gero. They produced the four-year West End run of the original RSC production, Christopher Hampton’s adaptation of the Laclos novel. Show also had a 20-week Broadway run. The show was pencilled in for a week between Stamford and Toronto at Boston’s Colonial Theater, but it has been canceled, apparently because of the troubled New England economy.

The Colonial has, however, scheduled a return engagement of comedian-magicians Penn & Teller. They’ll be at the Hub theater with their “Refrigerator Tour” Feb. 19 to March 3.


The Arden Theater Co., the American Music Theater Festival, the Painted Bride and the Philadelphia Singers are using a $200,000 Pew Charitable Trust grant to encourage localites to sample their wares. A $40 ticket will admit the buyer to Arden’s “Hamlet” Feb. 22; a Mozart concert March 29; San Francisco’s Contraband performance and dance group April 19; and the AMTF’s production of “Steel,” by Derek Walcott with music by Galt MacDermott, May 3.

Alexander Garlich’s “My Big Land,” once banned in the USSR, will be performed by the Moscow Theater-Studio, making its first U.S. tour, at the Annenberg Center, Feb. 4 and 5. English translation of the Russian dialog will be provided via free head-phones.

The Wilma Theater is substituting a “25th anniversary” revival of Joe Orton’s “Loot” for Czech entertainer CtiborTurba’s “Declownization” as its Feb. 20 to April 14 entry. Per artistic director Jiri Zizka, both the script and the plan to import a troupe of European clowns posed unexpected problems. Offbeat opus still is a 1991-92 possibility.

The Theater Assn. of Pennsylvania has announced a program of two-year grants of up to $15,000 to small theaters for specific projects such as new works, residencies by guest artists and collaborations with other theater companies. Project has been pledged $280,000 by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Washington, D.C

The Shakespeare Theatre at the Folger has named Kenneth Branagh, director and star of the film “Henry V,” winner of its 1991 William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theater. The award, for “outstanding contributions to classical theater,” will be presented April 20 in D.C. Branagh also serves as artistic director of the Renaissance Theatre Co. The Shakespeare Theater also will honor founding board chairman R. Robert Linowes.


The League of Chicago Theaters has named Keryl McCord its new exec director. McCord will fill the position vacated by longtime executive director Diane Olmen, who resigned in July. McCord, who moved to Chicago last fall to become executive director of the Chicago Theater Co., said she plans to make the league a more active political force to improve the lot of local theaters.

Latest improv group to set up shop here, named ED for no apparent reason, received an unusually warm welcome, selling out its initial nine-show run at the Shuman Theater and attracting favorable attention in the local media. The seven-member company, distinguished from other improv outfits by the fact that it wings each performance instead of presenting formal shows based on improvisations, plans a return engagement in the next few months.

Illegitimate Players’ Steinbeck-bashing parody “Grapes And Nuts” has moved to the Halsted Theater Center for an open run after critical acclaim during its launch at the Victory Gardens Studio.

Live Bait theater is commenting on events in the Mideast with a production of Ernest Toller’s 1936 satire “No More War.”

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